Cambra: It’s the new drill

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CAMBRA: It’s the new drill

Did you know that dental caries (the disease that causes cavities) is the #1 chronic infection in American youth, far surpassing obesity and asthma? Did you also know that dental caries is 100% preventable? It is a mind-blowing paradox that the dentists have been struggling with for decades. Unfortunately the traditional drill and fill method is like building a deck for a house that is burning down around you-it is a huge gamble for the patient and practitioner on weather or not the procedure will last for the long term.

Now that science is caught up with common sense, there is a new methodology for preventing and treating dental caries called CAMBRA or “CAries Management by Risk Assessment”. CAMBRA is simply a method of assessing caries (cavity) risk and making therapy (product) and restoration recommendations based on a patient’s caries risk.

A simple comparison used to understand CAMBRA methodology is to compare it to a risk assessment for heart disease. When assessing risk for heart disease your doctor will look for risk factors such as heredity, age, sex, tobacco usage, alcohol consumption, weight, dietary habits, physical activity level, stress level etc. to determine how “at risk” the patient is for a heart attack.

Based on what he or she finds, they provide you the best care possible. Patients that are low risk may be good candidates for running a marathon or having cosmetic surgery, while a high risk patient probably won’t get green light. They will likely find themselves needing medical intervention such as a prescription medications as well as diet and exercise counseling.

Dentists who perform CAMBRA are following the same formula. Based on an assessment of risk factors and disease indicators for caries disease (current decay condition, current bacterial challenge, decay history, dietary habits, current prescription medications, saliva flow, medical conditions, and oral hygiene habits etc.) the dentist can make the best treatment recommendations for the patient.

High-risk patients may require medical intervention in the form of oral rinses, gels, gums, and sprays (and need decayed areas filled) while low risk patients may get the go-ahead for cosmetic procedures or whitening.

CAMBRA brings the medical model of prevention and treatment to the dental office. It provides the patient and the dental professional with the tools and information needed to make smart decisions about the patient’s oral wellness. To find a dentist that is practicing CAMBRA near you, go to CAMBRA: it’s the new drill.

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